US Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The following analysis from the US Energy Information Administration shows U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions from 1990 to 2014.  Figure 11 shows that the DECLINING CARBON INTENSITY OF THE ENERGY MIX SINCE 2008 HAS CONTRIBUTED TO A GENERAL DECOUPLING OF CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS FROM ECONOMIC GROWTH.  As we continue to increase our nation’s capacity to generate electricity from the sun, we can continue to grow the US economy without increasing our carbon emissions.  That’s good news for all of us.

https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/

PV Module Reliability Workshop at NREL

PV Module Reliability

CFV Solar Test Lab employees attended the annual PV Module Reliability Workshop sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Colorado this week.   Many of the top manufacturers, developers, and scientists from around the globe were in attendance to discuss issues related to PV module and system reliability.   The CFV poster presentation “Module Deflection Profiles for MLT” authored by Larry Pratt, Nick Riedel, Greg Peacock and Michael Yamasaki won first prize in its category “General Standards”.  The poster summarized an internal CFV study done to show that the force applied by its mechanical load stand that uses discrete hydraulic pistons is roughly equivalent to other methods (like sand bags or air bags) that use a continuous applied force across the module surface.  The results of the study resulted in the rewriting of a portion of the new IEC standard for Mechanical Load Testing.

NM solar tax credit bills do not pass.

bills do not pass

Two bills, which would have been a great help to the renewable industry in New Mexico die in session. The legislation, in form of two bills do not pass, but lawmakers and lobbyists promise to re introduce them both next year and hold out hope for a special session.

“Everybody got hurt on this one,” said Ben Shelton, political and legislative director of Conservation Voters of New Mexico, “The political will was absolutely there. It was just a matter of the fiscal reality that the state was in.”

For more detailed information on the the two bills, check out- The Santa Fe New Mexican article on the subject.

 

Nevada Anti-Solar Actions hit the World News

home owned solar

Earlier this week, John D. Sutton published an article on CNN.com that did quite a worthy job of showing the human effect of Nevada’s non-nonsensical dismantling of its fastest growing industry. If you have not had a chance to, please read it here-

 

https://www.cnn.com/2016/02/06/opinions/sutter-nevada-solar/index.html

We completely agree with Sutton’s conclusion-

But apparently that collective will to wage a war on climate change hasn’t trickled down to Nevada. Instead, the local utility and officials are injecting uncertainty and doubt into the solar market at exactly the moment when the opposite is needed.

I’m hopeful the commission will see the error in its ways. NV Energy has proposed some changes to the rate structure that could bring relief for existing solar customers. A hearing is scheduled for Monday. The commission should take those seriously and, moreover, seek to make solar cost-effective for new customers as well.

The rest of us, meanwhile, should take this as a reminder that the United States and other countries desperately need to put a price on carbon pollution.

Doing so will send a clear signal to markets and homeowners — that solar and other renewable energy sources are the future. Investing in them will be a smart bet.

 

 

Renewable Energy Day was a huge success

Renewable Energy Day

We would like to thank the Santa Fe Sustainable Everything Advocates and New Mexico Solar Energy Association for sponsoring the 2016 Renewable Energy Day event in Santa Fe last Friday. It was a huge effort and success. So thank you, thank you!

And thank you to everyone who came and helped make it the success it was. Old friends and new faces coming together to show the policy makers in Santa Fe that renewable energy is a priority of their constituents. That their voters firmly believe solar, wind and the rest of the renewable energy sources this state is so rich in, should be utilized to improve the lives of all New Mexicans.

 

 

NM 2015- tax credit overview

tax credit

Preliminary 2015 New Mexico Solar Market Development Tax Credit data

It looks like 2015 was a great year for residential installations.

 

Just some tax credit letter info:

The 2015 tax credit applications that are complete should have the tax credit letter in the mail by January 20, 2016 with an expected receipt by January 30, 2016.

My queue is already growing for 2016 tax credits.  Your clients should be notified of their 2016 status late next week – January 15 – if they did not make the 2015 tax year cut-off.

The present plan is to start issuing the 2016 tax year credit letters in April 2016.

 

Attached Chart notes:

I have attached two charts – one showing data by county, and one showing utility service areas.

I have compiled the attached county chart showing most of the data for the New Mexico Solar Market Development tax credit for 2015.

This represents 86% of the data entered for the year.  I should be able to get a complete listing at the end of January.

Grant County is the new winner in the per-capita race, rising to the top of the chart. Way to go!

Bernalillo is the county with the most dollars spent, and Dona Ana and Santa Fe counties are also competing in number of systems installed in 2015. Sandoval county is closely trailing the top three dollar counties.

 

The utility provider chart should be of some interest. PNM has the largest number of installations in the state. Again, this is preliminary data and doesn’t represent the final counts.

 

Best Regards,

Mark Gaiser

BSEE, MBA

 

Clean Energy Manager

EMNRD, Energy Conservation and Management Division

1220 South St. Francis Drive

Santa Fe, NM 87505

 

State of New Mexico, USA

 

Data for the New Mexico Solar Market Development tax credit for 2015.

NM 2015 tax credit

By Utility- Please click on the image for the PDF

2015 NM Tax Credit

By County- Please click on the image for the PDF

 

Renewable Energy Day 2016

renewable energy day

The 2016 Renewable Energy Day is coming up on January 29th and REIA-NM is looking forward to seeing you there. This year it’s being held at the New Mexico Capitol building in Santa Fe.

This event will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

SFSEA (Santa Fe Sustainable Everything Advocates) and NMSEA (New Mexico Solar Energy Association) are co-sponsoring the event this year and they’ve chosen  “The Future of Sustainability in NM: Global Carbon Reduction Starts at Home” as its theme.   We will  be speaking with members of the legislature about the extension of the NM solar tax credit, which is due to expire at the end of 2016, House Bill 26, sponsored by Representative Sarah Maestas Barnes and Senate Bill 13, sponsored by Senator Mimi Stewart. Both bills can be found here:  https://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/billfinder/bill_finder.aspx.

The goal for the day is to raise awareness about renewable energy and sustainability in our beautiful state. Can’t wait to see you there!

 

As the Sun Sets in Nevada

nevada solar

In the latest news from Nevada, both the Alliance for Solar Choice and the state run Bureau of Consumer Protection have filed to delay or even alter the the net metering  ruling handed down on  Dec. 22, 2015 by Nevada’s Utility Regulation Commissions, PUC. If you are not familiar with the case, please feel free to catch up here– Click REIA-NM’s earlier articles on this story.

 

“The matter is larger than just one subset of residential customers getting a benefit that other do not,” said the filing from the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This is a matter of integrity and honor that will severely damage the reputation of Nevada’s government and its ability to persuade customers to engage in programs in the future, if the perception is created that the commission will not honor or recognize deals prior commissions or legislatures once offered to encourage people to participate in programs that in many cases cost them thousands of dollars out of their own pockets.”

 

With the hearing coming up tomorrow, the decision appears almost predetermined, if one is to believe PUC staff filings-

 

“Staff does not believe there is a reasonable likelihood that TASC will prevail on the merits of the matter asserted in its motion …  “

Writes PUC Staff Counsel Tammy Cordova. She continued,

“In fact, staff believes that failure to timely implement the commission’s order could cause greater customer confusion,” the filing says. “Timely implementation of the NEM rate structure, when customers are expecting a change in their NV Energy bills, will provide the greatest opportunity for those customers to review and seek understanding of how the new rate structure will affect them.”

 

We will be keeping you up to date on the latest developments in this case, throughout the week. Either check this site daily or like and follow us on Facebook- Click here and stay informed.

 

 

An Overview of the Photovoltaic Industry part 2

photovoltaic industry

Continued from “An Overview of the Photovoltaic Industry part 1″ Click here

Lean engineering principles focused much of these competitive market efforts of doing more, with less. Four examples come to mind:

  • Silicon wafer thicknesses (used within PV modules) are only 25% of what they were in the 1990’s.
  • A PV module now vs. 2008 (with the same physical dimensions) can produce 25% or more power.
  • PV module array mounting systems use significantly less aluminum than 10 years ago.
  • PV module mounts now feature integral bonding between metal components for safety.

Finally, at the end of 2016, the nationwide 30% federal income tax incentive will be reduced to only 10% for businesses and eliminated altogether for residential systems. This will immediately reduce the size of the possible customer base and will reduce the affordability of PV systems with the US. Many feel the industry should and will stand on its own, without 3rdparty incentives, but none the less, the market will “feel” a bump in the road that reflects the longer return on investments for these systems.

 

Many large national solar installation businesses have been set-up in states where electric power is not cheap and who have incentives programs of some type for PV.

Mass produced/ mass installed PV systems are being installed in many states.

  • These “kit type systems” function – but on what level?
  • Has any real skill been utilized to make the best possible system?
  • What is the best type of inverter to be utilized? – Different inverters have different strengths and weaknesses.
  • What is the best type of PV module to be used? – PV modules are not generic.
  • What type of mounting structure is optimal for a particular roof type? What additional dead load capacity exists for your existing roof? What structural anchors and WATERPROOFING methods are required for your type roof?
  • What roof areas should be utilized for module placement – that compliments a building’s solar access orientation?
  • Does the module mount physical placement account for ambient shade producing objects at different times of day or at different times of years, etc.? Or has the open exposed roof areas just had modules slapped on them.
  • Will the company that provided installation services still be around in two years or 5 years down the road?

Meanwhile traditional monopoly type public electric Utilities are experiencing competition for the first time for their own customer base, by their own customer base. They are now, albeit with some discomfort, aware that things are changing in their business model. In fact, many electric utilities have “seen the light” and are now in full scale efforts to bring all of the benefits of this clean, quiet, fuel-less, sustainable, low maintenance technology “behind their fence”.   In the past, residential customers received the benefits directly by fixing the costs of their electricity or some portion, while avoiding electric bills, and while receiving the benefits of any incentives. Utilities are recognizing that their regulated utility business model – that has been road they have travelled on for 70 years is changing direction, and as they do not have direct total control of the course of the changing business model, they must adapt – but to what?

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